360TB Optical Data Storage On A Tiny Quartz Disc

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Scientists at the University of Southampton have developed digital data storage that is capable of storing 360TB on a quartz disc the size of a quarter. The article claims that the data is capable of surviving for billions of years at temps as high as 190°C. :eek:


Using nanostructured glass, scientists from the University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have developed the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional (5D) digital data by femtosecond laser writing. The storage allows unprecedented properties including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1,000°C and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature (13.8 billion years at 190°C ) opening a new era of eternal data archiving.
 

UnrealCpu

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I bet the crystal skull holds million times more information than this quartz disc
lol
 

cptnjarhead

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"the data is recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz. The information encoding is realised in five dimensions:"
Cool
 

nutzo

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What is the access time to retrieve a file?
How long would it take to write 360TB?
Is this write once, or can it be used over and over?

By the time they turn this into a viable product, I'll likely need several to backup the petabyte of storage the office will have grown to.
 

griffinhart

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Didn't CDs/dvds/blurays last forever too?
Nope, Most CD's/DVD's only have a reliable "shelf life" of 2 to 5 years according to the National Archives. Gold based archival quality are rated for 300 years.
 

cyclone3d

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Nope, Most CD's/DVD's only have a reliable "shelf life" of 2 to 5 years according to the National Archives. Gold based archival quality are rated for 300 years.

Is this only for burned CDs/DVDs? Asking because I have console game CDs from the early 90s that still work just fine. And they are definitely not gold based.
 

hardcase

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My wife is the curator of a museum. Archival storage of digital material is a real concern of hers for several reasons. The first is, obviously, the physical longevity of the medium. The museum buys archival CD-Rs that are supposed to last a hundred years. The second, though, is more insidious, I think: the format of the data and the form factor it's stored on. CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, Blu-Ray all seem pretty reasonable, but so did floppy disks. A couple of years ago I had to help the museum recover text files from hundreds of 5.25" floppies. Thank god they didn't have any 8" disks sitting around! And what about document formats? I'd like to think that a plain ASCII text file will be readable, but what about a WordPerfect file? Or some other obsolete format, let alone graphics formats?

Museum curators agonize over this stuff, I've found out because the answers aren't simple. Or cheap.
 

griffinhart

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Is this only for burned CDs/DVDs? Asking because I have console game CDs from the early 90s that still work just fine. And they are definitely not gold based.
It's all dependent on storage conditions. The 2 to 5 year figure is more of a guide line to really stress that while data may still be good on the disk, you start running risks of losing data. As the metal material in the disk oxidizes, you start running the risk of lost data. That's why Gold disks are better. But, it's entirely possible to have normal CD/DVDs last decades. It's also equally possible that they develop problems over that same period.
 

nutzo

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Is this only for burned CDs/DVDs? Asking because I have console game CDs from the early 90s that still work just fine. And they are definitely not gold based.

Manufactured disk like games and software have a much longer shelf life.
Storing a cd/dvd in a sealed low humidity environment will extend the life of the disk.
Storing the CD in sleeve clipped on the sun visor of your car will drastically reduce the life, especially if you live in a hot/sunny local. :)
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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Nope, Most CD's/DVD's only have a reliable "shelf life" of 2 to 5 years according to the National Archives. Gold based archival quality are rated for 300 years.


I got DVDs HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray disks way older than that and they all still work perfectly..... I have yet to have one not work when I play it.
 

Ultima99

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So at Samsung 950 Pro SSD read speeds of 2.5GB/sec for easy math (aka damn fast) this would take 40 hours of continuous reading to get the whole thing.
 

FLECOM

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I got DVDs HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray disks way older than that and they all still work perfectly..... I have yet to have one not work when I play it.

guess you don't have any Warner HD-DVDs then? they are pretty much ALL unplayable at this point
 

Wiffle

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Its cool and all, but isn't 13.8 billion years a bit overkill? At the rate the world is going, in a 100 years we probably won't even have the technology to read any computer generated data.
 

Tsumi

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From the article:

The technology was first experimentally demonstrated in 2013 when a 300 kb digital copy of a text file was successfully recorded in 5D.

Now, major documents from human history such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Newton’s Opticks, Magna Carta and Kings James Bible, have been saved as digital copies that could survive the human race. A copy of the UDHR encoded to 5D data storage was recently presented to UNESCO by the ORC at the International Year of Light (IYL) closing ceremony in Mexico.

So the news isn't that they've developed the technology, it's that they've successfully demonstrated the technology with something more massive than a 300 kb text file.
 

USMCGrunt

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Its cool and all, but isn't 13.8 billion years a bit overkill? At the rate the world is going, in a 100 years we probably won't even have the technology to read any computer generated data.

From the article:



So the news isn't that they've developed the technology, it's that they've successfully demonstrated the technology with something more massive than a 300 kb text file.

Looks like we need to build some Voyager Mk IIs and send them out in every which way with a couple of these discs containing our collective knowledge on it. Long after we are gone maybe another race will be able to use the information to their benefit.
 

rat

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The company responsible for this has been peddling vaporware for over a decade. Nothing they have ever demonstrated has passed the idea and mockup stage.
 

Disposed

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The company responsible for this has been peddling vaporware for over a decade. Nothing they have ever demonstrated has passed the idea and mockup stage.
What company is that?
 

USMCGrunt

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I believe that what they're saying is that it has near unlimited lifetime at room temperature, and that drops down to 13.8 billion years as you approach 190C.
I was actually being facetious but it is an important aspect to clarify. If it's 13.8 billion at 190C and only 6 months AT room temperature then this is just headline hype.
 

4saken

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It's old news, but the new articles are talking about that they have perfected the design and fabrication process is close to underway.
 

rat

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It's old news, but the new articles are talking about that they have perfected the design and fabrication process is close to underway.

Yeah. I doubt it.

We were supposed to have a 1PB disc way back in 1999. Hyper CD-ROM - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Then 1TB in 2000. Fluorescent Multilayer Disc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Or 5TB in 2008. Holographic Versatile Disc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

None of this tech, for whatever reason, makes it to manufacturing.
 

jinhur

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maybe finally we'll develop something to read the earth, much like reading a sheet of music
or even play earth, much like a digital song

at least things are still written in "stone" (minerals)
 

Ryokurin

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Yeah. I doubt it.

We were supposed to have a 1PB disc way back in 1999. Hyper CD-ROM - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Then 1TB in 2000. Fluorescent Multilayer Disc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Or 5TB in 2008. Holographic Versatile Disc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

None of this tech, for whatever reason, makes it to manufacturing.


Pretty much all of those were gimmicks that couldn't scale to mass manufacturing. For example the HVD drives alone were thousands of dollars and the disks were in the $100-300 range, kind of similar to high density Blu-Ray disks are now. IBM worked on holographic technology for storage for years, but gave up on it because of the advances in magnetic storage over the past 10 years or so, so that probably has a lot to do with it too.
 
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Yet Apple will still only provision 16GB on the base flagship model, and upgrade you to 360TB for $100 more.
 
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